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ttuiobr MaUdeo Kelkar 

196/85 Sadashiv Peih, Z)cc. 1947 

Poona 2 

Rights reserved 
by Author 


DIDDLES of the Ramayana, like those of the Maha- 
bharata are many and varied, and what is more, they 
are likely to remain so for ever. Attempting their solution 
or trying to interpret them is an ideal pastime for 
scholars and reasearch students. Sardar M. V. Kibe places 
before us in the following pages, his solution of one of 
the many riddles of the Ramayana : the identification 
of Lanka. 

Popular belief is so strong that it is almost axiomatic 
to associate the island fortress of Ravana with modern 
Ceylon. Few scholars have differed from the belief and 
among themselves, differed very widely. It is not sur- 
prising to find that Australia, Sumatra, the Maldivs and 
a place in Assam have been mentioned as possible sites of 
the Lanka of the Ramayana, 

As against all these, Sardar Kibe's stand is entirely 
different. He has proved with convincing arguments that 
the Lanka of Ravana was not beyond the southern tip of 
the Indian peninsula, but on the contrary, in the heart of 
Hindustan near the Amarakantaka peak in the Central 
Provinces of to-day. His arguments are based on data 
Aarshalled out from the Sanskrit text of Valmiki Rama- 
*yana. Other scholars have expressed the same view 
independently and produced additional evidence.* 

*(i) GhciJ. C.: Annals BORL XIX, 84-6 ; 
Ind. Hist. Q. V. 355-56 ; 

<ii) Hiralal: Jha. Comm. Vol. 151-63 ; 

(Hi) RamdasG.: Ind. ffiit. Q. IV. 380-46 ; 

(IT) Iyf T. P. : Ramayana and Lanka, Bangalore 1940. 


But the location of Lanka is not the only riddle from 
the epic history Ramayana is an Itihasa too. Apart 
from the identification of many place names, there are 
other points -equally knotty and perplexing. Take for 
instance, the reference to Dasaratha's dead* body kept 
in oil-bath till the return of Bharata. This is not known 
to be a custom among the Aryan people. 

Studying the epic from a sociological point of view. 
with a critical eye, some striking questions arise : Why 
could not Urmila accompany Lakshmana when Sita 
could follow Rama ? What was Rama's object in subject- 
ing Sita to the fire ordeal ? How could she be exiled 
later, on an extremely flimsy pretext ? Why was it nece- 
ssary for the Chief of the State to kill in person an 
offender ( Sambooka ) without any trial ? 

We know how very lonely Sita felt during her 14 
years of exile. Urmila would have made an excellent com- 
pany and the two couples would have been mutually 
happy and helpful. Instead, Urmila had to suffer the 
lot of a deserted wife for 14 long years for no fault of hers. 
Why ? There is no satisfactory answer to the simple 
query. Similarly, Sita's ordeal and her exile : Bhavabhuti 
is at pains to defend his hero's action. In the wide 
expanse and divergent views of the Hindu Dharma 
Shastra, there is no support for these actions. Nor is 
there any precedent for them. And yet, Rama is the 
ideal hero and husband and Ramarajya the ideal state % 
It would be no easy task to find support for Rama's 
assertion : 

/ Even the dead body of the Brahmin's son (Sambooka episode) 
was similarly kept in oil-bath VII 75-2. 


The problem of identifying geographical names is 
more perplexing and complicated. Although we take it 
for granted that the Rama story has taken place in India, 
many Far Eastern countries have the same boast. Surely, 
it could not have been acted in all these places ! Which 
of them is the correct place of the birth of Ramayana ? 
Ayodhya, the capital of Rama and his predecessors, is 
situated in India and there is no other place bearing the 
same name; its location likewise is not disputed. But 
when we find Ayuthia prominently shown near Bangkok in 
Siam, and when we further learn the line of kings of that 
country took Rama as a title, we get more and more con* 
fused. Ayuthia was a former capital of Siamese monarchs 
before Bangkok was finally chosen and we know that in 
recent times there was a king styled as Rama VI in 
that country. 

Nearer home in India, the confusing identification 
becomes more confused. Adjoining the ruins of Vijaya- 
nagara ( Hampi ) we are shown Kishkindha, Pampa and 
Matanga parvata. Sardar Kibe has shown these places to 
be in the Central Provinces. On the Indo-Afghan border 
there are places associated with Rama, Sita and many 
leading characters of the Ramayana. Why, in every part 
of our Indian continent, there are places having some 
connection or other with the Rama legend. A map of 
India and the adjoining countries, showing places associat- 
ed with Rama saga is bound to be highly instructive. 

In Java too, the Ramayana is supposed to be enacted. 
The place names mentioned in the Ramayana are to be 
found in Java to-day. The surprising aspect is not the 
wide-spread currency of the story, but its continuation in 


spite of Budhhisttc and later Islamic influence there. The 
climax however seems to be in the introduction of Moslem 
mythological characters into one of the Javanese versions 
of the Ramayana. $ 

The deep, wide and extensive penetration of the 
Rama saga into the very life of the people here in India 
as well as elsewhere in the East Indies, must indeed be the 
greatest marvel of cultural achievement. Admittedly, 
the epic as we have it, is modern in the sense that it is 
post-budhha. In other words, the story gained its present 
popularity within 20 centuries. For oral propagation, 
this must constitute a world- record. 

Various origins of the Ramayana have been suggested 
to show that the Rama story does not belong to India. 
According to A. Weber,* it was an adaptation of 
Homer's Iliad. Egyptian origin of the story is proposed 
by Malladi Vankat Ratnam @ in his two bulky volumes 
and taking a cue from him, Mr. B. V. Jadhav, wrote a 
series of articles in Marathi questioning the Aryan charac- 
ter of Rama. Semitic origin ( meaning Persian ! ) is 
suggested by Dr. S. V. Ketkar of the Marathi 
Dnyanakosha fame. Its symbolic significance is also hinted 
at some critics%, Telang, Jacobi, Winternitzt and others 
have shown that the Homeric poems have had no influ- 
ence on Valmiki's composition. 

$ Hikaiat Seri Rama ( Indian influences on the Literature of 
Java and Bali ). * 

* Uber das Ramayana ( 1870 ) Us English translation- Thi 
Ramayana ( by D 0. Boyd ) London 1873. 

<a Rama, the Greatest Pharaoh of Egypt. 2 vols. Rajahmundry 

Prachina Maharashtra ( Marathi ) Poo Da 1935; Chaps. 24-25. 
( Resume in English ) 

% Y. Subbarao : Sri Ramayananada Anatarartha or JtfbfaAa- 
marga Pradipike ( Kanareie } 1932. 

Telang: Ind. Ant. II, 143-7; III, 123; H. Jaoobi: Das Ramayana; 
WinttrniU, History of Indian Literature, I. pp. 514-5. 


Analysing the influence of the Ramayana, it is noticed 
that Hindustan (north of the Vindhyas j is under a firmer 
and deeper grip of the story than the Deccan. Ram Lila 
as observed by the Northerners - extending to 10 days 
ending with Dasara - is not known as such any where 
South of the Narmada, In the North too, to the West 
in the Punjab and beyond, the influence is stronger than 
what it is to the East in Bengal and Assam. Knowing as 
we do the immense popularity of the Tulsi Ramayana 
and its household use in the Hindi speaking regions, we 
don't take the Central area into consideration for this 
comparative study. The "curious fact about the Punjab 
is the more striking because there was Nanak's militant 
Sikhism to wean away a section of the populace from 
Valmikfs epic. Situated on the door-step of India the 
Punjab had to bear the first onslaughts of many an invasion 
from the North- West. Is the intense circulation of the 
Rama legend in the land of the five rivers due to its 
peculiar strategic position? Or to the heroic element in 
the story ? Perhaps to both ! 

A striking feature of the form of popularity of the 
Rama saga in the Punjab is to be seen in the proper names 
ending in Rama. It is customary to take Rama to represent 
the figure ^in Sanskrit literature, there being only three 
such heroes : Bhargava ( Parasu ), Raghava ( Dasbarathi ) 
and Yadava ( Bala ). The varieties of compound names 
formed with Rama in the Punjab is simply astounding. 
There are the twelve months of the Hindu lunar calendar 
to serve as prefixes of Rama thus : Chct, Baisakh, Jeth... 
...and so on. Queer combinations like Masti-Rama, 
Chuhd-( mouse ? ) Rama, Chhela-( the last ? ) Rama, are 
also found all over the Punjab. In the South too. amongst 
the Dravidians, many varieties of Rama, describing a parti- 
cular attribute of the hero or giving one of his many 
epithets in a long Sanskrit compound are to be found. 


Yet in the whole range of a thousand names of Vishnu 
there is only one Rama, although more than 108 
epithets of Rama for purposes of japa, have been compos- 
ed. The outstanding instance of great devotion to Rama 
and his story from amongst the Marathi speaking people 
is the com position of 103 Ramayanas by Moropant. His 
are the acrobatic feats of literary composition: he even 
composes a Ramayana wherein no labials are used at all t 

In the scholarly world, the hold of the Rama story 
can be judged by having a cursory glance at the Biblio- 
graphy of the Ramayana ably compiled by Mr. N. A. 
Gore. Here's a complete and almost exhaustive list of 
texts, translations, books and articles involving research 
about the epic. Mr. Gore's attention is restricted more or 
less to English and two other European languages, and there 
are a few entries of works in some Indian languages, 
Extending the scope of his work further to all languages 
Asiatic, European and others, the compilation would swell 
to many times its present size. For the very reason, it is 
worth trying and instead of bringing out another edition 
of the Bibliography \ Mr. Gore would do well to concentrate 
on this enlarged version. That indeed would prove 
convincingly, that the epic history of Rama, ^jhatever its 
origin, has had an overwhelmingly wide circulation. Very 
likely it would prove that Ramayana is the best-seller of 
the world's literature, the best-seller for all ages. Tke 
truth of the prediction by the Creator-in*carnate, given 
in the beginning of Valmiki's text 

H 1.2-36 

would then be realised fully, to the letter and the spirit. 
30th Dec. 1947. S, R. T. 

An Outline Map showing Lanka in the Central 

Our other 


**>- (fc 


HINDUPADPADASHAHI by Bar. V. D. Savarkar, 
(This book is now out of print.) 


( > 


Rs. 2-8-0, 

;j (This book is now available from the author.) < 

A. S. Bbide, Savarkar Sadan, 

Keluskar Road, 


Manohar Grantha Mala^ 



THE toughest riddle in the Ramayana is the location of 
Havana's capital Materials in Valmiki's work have 
wrongly been thought not sufficient to identify it. Tradi- 
tion for over two thousand years places it in the 
sea beyond the southern-most limits of India. Modern 
scholars, however, have declined to accept it. Mr. Vaidya, 
who has creditably explained many riddles of the 
Ramayana* has only supported the present location 
identical with Ceylon, by means of imperfect analogies. 
Recent opinion about Rama's journey to the south and 
His conquest of Lanka is that it is a nature myth. 
Dr. Jacobi locates it in Assam. 

Although the geographical data in the Ramayana are 
but incidentally given and scanty, there is ample evidence 
ill it to locate sites of Kishkindha and Lanka, the capitals 
of Sugriva and Ravana, respectively. The earlier part of 
the Ramayana is admitted to be historical and there is 
little difficulty in identifying Rama's Ayodhya and 
Chitrakuta with the modern places bearing those names. 

0. T. Vaidy a ; The Riddle of th* JBamayoia, Bombay 
0o. Vol. I. p. 410 

$ Location of Lanka 

In the Kishkindha Kanda, Sugriva's capital of that 
name is made the centre for enumerating the countries 
in the four directions. The countries within the borders 
of India are more or less correctly named and described, 
but those beyond are imaginary. In this narration of 
the countries in each direction sufficient indication is 
given of the frontiers of India. 

Sugriva assembled his vast army on the plain adjoin* 
ing his capital, Kishkindha ( IV-40 ). He then divided 
it into batches under the distinguished warriors for going 
to countries in the four directions for finding whereabouts 
of Sita. For their information and guidance he enumera- 
ted the countries to be found in each direction. He does 
not seem to have followed any method in naming them; 
he simply noted countries and remarkable places in each 
direction, regarding the place where he stood as the 

He began with the East. In this direction were to- 
be met with the Ganges; the Jumna; a big mountain on 
or near its banks, probably Chitrakuta itself; the Sarayu; 
the Kausiki; the Saras wati; the Sindhu; the Sona; the 
Mahi and the Kalamabi- a river, the valley of which 
abounded in rich natural scenery; and the following 
countries: Brahmamala; Videha; Malava; Kasi; Kosala; 
Mahagrama; Pundra and Anga. Beyond these are the 
lands where silk-worms exist ( probably Assam ) and 
where there are silver mines ( probably Burma ) ( IV 
40- 19 to 24 ). 


Lanka Discovered 

ii ^ v H 

Another leader was sent to the SDuth. He was to 
search the Vindhya mountain; the Narmada; the 
Godavari; the Krishna; the Mekhala; Utkala and the 
cities in the Dasarna countries; the cities, Abravanti and 
Avanti; the countries Vidarbha: Rishtika; Mahishaka; 
Matsya; Kalinga; Kausika; Dandaka forest; the Godavari 
(another river of the same name as the one already enume- 
rated but not the modern famous river of that name; 
probably the one on the banks of which Rama stayed at 
Panchavati); Andhra, Pundra ( a country of this name is 
met with in the east also ); Chola; Pandya and Kerala; the 
Ayomukba mountain; the Tamraparni and then the sea 
(IV-41-8 to 19 ):- 


II ^ II 

: ( ftR5 of 

Location of Lanka 

II \ a II 

3WTT ^^ 

II \\ \\ 

: ? ^ 11 

II \**\\ 


a* w^ fiTORia: n I Mi 

The third batch iyas sent to the West. The placet 
and countries in this direction are thus enumerated:* 
Saurashtra; Balhika; Chandra Chitra and a little towards 

* This praise of a small river at the end of the peninsula appears 
io be an Interpolation by one of the editors who gave a Sooth India* 
lopogtaphioal coloring to the epic. 

Lanka Discovered 5, 

the west, the sea. This last remark suggests that the 
countries mentioned here must have been in the north- 
west of the place of the narrator. ( IV-42-6 to 10 ) 

B ^ II 
lS| ^ 
^ N 

: (|IIT: 11 ^ n 

?RT: qf^RRUFq ^5 t H 

In this direction the junction of the Indus with the 
tea is also mentioned ( ibid 15 ): 

The last division of scouts was sent to the North. 
The most prominent feature of this direction is the 
existence of the Himalayas ( IV-43-4 ). 

The other countries and places are: Mlechchha; 
Pulinda; Surasena; Prastbala; Bharata; Kuru; Madra; 
Kamboj; Yavana; the cities of Sakas; Varad^and the 
Himalayas ( IV-43-12,and 89 ). 

H \\ \\ 

Location of Lanka 

Three objections have been put forward against the 
authenticity of these geographical passages. The first is 
that they give names of countries which look like modern 
ones. The second objection, as expressed by Mr, Vaidya, is 
that Dandakaranya and the Godavari are twice mention* 
ed, once in the east and again in the south. ( This is not 
to be found in all editions. In the edition from which I 
have quoted, Pundra is msntionsd in-two directions ). The 
third objection, again put forth by Mr. Vaidya, is that 
Sugriva makes contradictory assertions as regards his 
knowledge of Ravana and bis home. When Rama meets 
him for the first time, he says that he does not know 
anything about Ravana ( IV-7-3 ). 

But when he is giving directions to his followers, to 
those going towards the South, he indicates the abode of 
Ravana ( IV-41 ):- 


Against the first objection, it should be remembered 
that excepting perhaps the kernels of the Ramayana and* 
the Mahabharata no reliable material of the history of 
India, as a whole, prior to the times of Buddha, is 
available*" Therefore it cannot be positively said what 
the ancient names of countries were. In some cases old 
names may have been continued in later times. Their 

This stanza is not given in my edition. 

Lanka Discovered t 

having changed places, does not prove that they did not 
- xist in ancient times. As regards the second 'objection* 
it should be borne in mind that it is not uncommon in 
continents colonised by foreign people to have the same 
names repeated. 

As regards the last, the second stanza which is 
Quoted by Mr. Vaidya himself, shows that therein 
Sugriva described what he had heard ( 9ft ) only. When 
he first saw Rama he might not have really known 
anything about Ravana. When he promised to help 
.Rama, he must have made inquiries. His general* 
Hana man, communicates to Lakshmana what knowledge 
of Ravana he had obtained from Vali ( IV-35-16 to 18 ): 

aw ^M 

u \& w 

Moreover the Vanara race was scattered over a large 
part of India ( IV-37 ) and Hanuman had travelled over 
& number of their colonies ( IV-44-4 ) : 


The inference then is clear that Sugriva must have 
obtained his information from some such sources* 

A glance at the map of India will show that the 
situation of Kishkindha, as indicated by the naming of the 
countries around it most be found in the north of the 

8 Location of Lanjca 

Vintfhya mountain, the west of the Jumna and the Ganges 
aiid south-iwsst of the Chitrakuta, because Rama is 
awdjto^veleftitforgoinjto the south and even if it 
was jn the north-east of Kishkindha, it could be said to 
be in the east, as in the text above. 

Moreover, this is exactly the plate where the 
description of Rama's journey to that place 
from Chitrakuta* would lead one to locate it*. 
On leaving that place. Rama entered the Dandaka 
forest. There he came across a colony of Rifhi* 
which was situated in an inaccessible place ( IIM ). Then 
he entered the valley of a river ( III-2 ). Here he saw & 
hermitage (III -4). He requested its owner to show him 
a suitable place for settling '( III-4-33 ). 

The Rishi was about to die and so he directed Rama 
to go to another Rishi in the neighbourhood ( 3*5 ). Here 
there were a number of colonists who complained to 
Rama of the harassment to which they were subjected 
by the fierce -Raksbasas (3-6 ). They described to him 
the extent to which their colonies, which were subjected 
to the harassment, had spread. ( VIII-9-17 ).- 

That is to say, that they were established on the 
area between thePampa and the Mandakini rivers and 

It U noteworthy that la th* 

, Bombay edition 1911, VoU. p. 21, Adhyay* 86, Sttnu 
If) it 1* ttated that the three peaks of this mountain ftqcg 
^et4 tohattt^i by the Bakthasa guatds at the Lanka. This apparent? 
Agrs|o the faot HM *i*hl* the sphere of the Lanka, 

Lanka Discovered & 

the Chitrakuta mountain. The three names describe the. 
boundaries on the south, the east and the north ( or the. 
north-east ) respectively. The boundary on the west was 
not fixed. It was lost in the forest. It will be remembered 
that in this direction no country is mentioned which is- 
nearer to Kishkindha than Saurashtra. Forest is said to 
have existed in this direction ( see IV-42-7 to 9 ). The 
Pampa, in the south, is the same river to which Rama 
came at the end of bis journey. Beyond this was a 
colony of the Vanara race, as will be presently seen. 

Being accompanied by the members of the colony, he 
went to the hermitage of Sutikshna ( III-7 ). He stayed, 
here for a night ( HI-8-1 ). 

lie then wandered over different places in the fores 
and returned to the same place after ten ycars^ 
( III-11-27 & 28 ). 

^ * 

Here he inquires after the place of Agasti (III-ll-33)> 

He is told that the hermitage of Agasti's brother 
was 32 miles to the south from there and Agasti's 
hermitage eight miles further in its south. He is advis* 
ed that be should halt at the former place for the night 

10 Location of Lanka 

-and then proceed to the other place the next morning 

H V 


II V^ H 

He goes to Agasti and asks him to show him a good 
rplace to live in ( III-13-ll);- 

n \\ \\ 

He is pointed out a place 16 miles away on the banks 
-of the Godavari - a place which was said to be not far 
,away ( II 1-13-13 20-21 ):- 

: ^arfft ^ ?^t cf^r ?^ n 

Here Rama lived for nearly two years and from here 
ibis wife Sita was taken away by Ravana. 


This Godavari was, probably, a stream, issuing from 
the Chitrakuta, In a cave in it. is shown a stream, which 
goes by the name of Godavari, which, however disappears 
within the cave. It is said to re-issue at some distance. 
This circumstance helps the proposition that Rama's 
.abode on the Godavari, from which Sita was abducted, 
was not so far away as is made out by the current beliefs. 

Lanka Discovered It 

Rama had gone a-hunting at the time of her abduc- 
tion. He had kept an old man to guard the hermitage* 
His name was Jatayu. He was found to have been almost 
killed by Ravana. On his return Rama learnt from the 
wounded guard the name of the abductor of his wife and 
the direction in which he had gone (III. 68-9, 10 and 16 ):~ 

fljjsrt ^I^I^TOJSSI^ u \ u 

cTTcf *W$ fd^T PfolNV I 

u i o u 

Rama went in that direction the south in search 
of his wife ( III-69-1 and 2 ):- 

II ^ ft 

II t 

Having gone six miles, he entered a forest by name 
Krauncha ( 1II-69-5 ):- 

CRT: ^ ^rrwrpn^ (^Ft^t T^ u^ i 
c 3?w(vf RRy^A^ cfl *rfto*ft u H w 

%nd on going six miles farther, he entered a valley ( HI-* 
69-8 and 10): 


18 Location of Lanka 

It was midway between the forest and the farm of a 
Rishi called Matanga (HI 69-8 supra ). Here he killed 
a man who before dying told him to go to Sugriva, .who 
lived on a hillock on the banks of a reservoir, named 
Pampa, which was on the farm of Matanga ( III~73-1Q* 
29, 31, 40 and 41):-^ 

\\ \ o II 

\\ M\ H 

Having camped for a day on the way he reached the 
western bank of Pampa ( III-74-3 ) : 

<?t ^ ^wa^nft i 
cfK M^qinnwJ II ^ H 

Then he went to the hill on which Sugriva lived 
(IV 1-129): 

Rama developed friendship with Sugriva, who gave 
him news of his wife, carried away by Havana by that 

Lanka Discovered 

H \\\ 

Sugriva had been driven away from home by his 
elder brother, Vali ( IV -9 and 10 ), who lived in Kish- 
kindha, which was at no great distance from the place 
( IV-12,13 and 14 ):- 

It was in a valley ( 1V-33-1 ):- 

\ n 

The above narrative clearly shows that having 
travelled 62 miles from Chitrakuta, or Sutiksha's 
hermitage, Rama reached Matanga's farm, from which 
Sugriva's place was a day f s journey, say 32 miles. Kish- 
kiridha was quite close to it. So it was about 94 miles 
from Chitrakuta. At this distance is also the Vindhya- 

Even to-day about this place, amidst the surround- 

ings described in the Ramayana, is a village named Kandho. 

r A fair in memory of Dasharatba's misadventure where- 

by came to him the curse about bis death, in the case of 

Shravana is held here. In some editions of the Ramayana 

-two Godavaris are described-one to the east and the other 

to the south of Kishkindha. It is said that $rerro 

is just to the south of f^ff^. That the tradi- 

tion had minute knowledge of this country, may be 

Jugded from the fact that a small tributary of the Sona in 

14 Location of Lanka 

thin locality, the Mahi, is mentioned in the text. This i 
confirmed by the face that even the distance of the loca- 
lities in this countryside are given in zfrsRs. 

To recapitulate : three points of evidence have been 
given to locate ftj^Rsn on the northern slope of the 
ftrof ; viz. : ( 1 ) Sugriva mentioned it immediately to the 
south of his capital; (2) the search party which issued from 
it first began to search the Vindhya; and ( 3 ) the mileage 
given in the Ramayana. 

The fact is that Kishkindha was not so far south as 
to be in the southern portion of the Indian peninsula. 
The first place given to the VinJhya among the coun- 
tries to the south of Kishkindha, coupled with the 
fact that on leaving that place Hanuman, the leader of 
the expedition, sent in that direction, first began search 
in that mountain would show that Kishkindha was in a 
valley of the Vindhya on its northern slope. 

Of the four batches sent, three returned without 
having found Sita ( IV-47 ). 

The one that haJ gone to the south began searching 
the Vindhya ( IV-48 ) and spent the allotted time of one 
month there ( IV-50 ). Here, the party entered a valley 
which was full of trees and through which water 
<was running ( I V-50-16-17 and 21 ): 

Vl&MHM ft 3T 

Lanka 'Discovered 15 

They lost their way in it. They were taken out of it 
by a nun living in it and brought them on to the shores of 
the sea which was washing the base of the Vindhya 

\\ \\ \\ 

Here when they were desperately nearer death came 
to them the brother of Jatayu, Sampati (IV-56). ^ He told 
that he had been a resident of the mountain from a very 

v* 11 

He gave them news of Ravana and Sita, who he said, 
were at a certain distance on an island in the sea, on the 
shores of which they were sitting ( IV-58-20 ) : > 

f^Pfcfl ^^^^1 II ^o II 

What is an indication of the distance is the fact that 
he could see them, or rather the place where they lived 
from the spot where they were ( IV-59-29 ) : 

It was on this information that Hanuman, the leader 
of the party, made up his mind to leap the distance. As^ 
$ matter of fact, there is no sea on the southern side of 
the Vindbya. The statement of Sampati, referred to 
above, suggests that the sea was in all probability an ex- 
panse of a river bed or a big reservoir, the other bank of 
which could be described or observed with difficulty* 
As no one had seen it, the idea of a sea intervening, grew 
stronger. Hanuman could cross this distance by taking 
two leaps (V-l). Mr. Vaidya refers to an incident in the 

16 Location of Lanka 

"Spanish conquest of Mexico, where a fighter impelled by 
xiire necessity leapt over such a long distance as staggered 
'his pursuers. Residents of Benares still remember the 
story of a man, who, having taken the garb of Hanuman, 
leapt over a local stream, which is at least 52 feet wide 
between banks, 

It is therefore clear that Kishkindha was on the north- 
ern slope of the Vindhya and Lanka was on its southern 
aide at some distance beyond an expanse of water. It is 
also plain that these places were in the eastern portion of 
the Vindhya mountain as they were not far away from, 
and, at the most, to the south of Chitrakuta. Further 
corroboration to the view comes from Varahamihira. "In 
Che enumeration of the peoples of India, given by 
Varahamihira " says Mr. C. V. Vaidya in his letter ( 6th 
October 1919 ) "we have the following Aryas:- 

Varahamihira divides India into 9 parts, 8 in the 8' 
directions and 9th in the middle, fojtfcrr is given along 
with Well-known other* in the enfcft, south-east portion. 

is near Jubbalpore, now known as 

** This is also the location assigned to Kishkindha by 
the innjfipr which also enumerates the peoples of India:-* 

onA& discovered , J? 

$ n 

This is plain and states the people who live in ( or on 
the slope of Vindhya ) and along with Malavas, ICartkshai 
and Dasharnas apd enumerates f%f^%^>s. There is 
therefore, no doubt, now that the fofSpspuT: are in the 
north , on the Vindhya slope. It is thus clear that 
the tradition about the situation oF ftn&n appears 
to have been maintained all through the period of 
TOlfoffo *Wrg*ro. &c- of which a-copperplate of 1080 A.D. 
to be presently referred to marks the last point. This 
circumstance suggests the suspicion that the identifica- 
tion of Ceylon with Lanka, is of a much later growth 
and bad, in fact, no foundation in the classical period. 
This is also the view held by that eminent scholar H. 

Although Lanka is called an island, nowhere in the 
Ramayana is a description of its coast-line attempted. It 
is certain that it was a citadel on the peak of a mountain. 
Describing the visit of Hanuman to the place Mr. Vaidya 
says,* 1 Reaching the top of the range, he ( Hanuman ) saw 
Lanka perched on the top of a hill and surrounded by 
gardens and natural groves/* 

When the nun ( qtsft ) pointed out ( IV-52-31 ) "This 
is Vindhya, this is srcft*l and this is the sea/* she was 
showing places within her sight. The srertFT may be the 
modern srosfes, from which issue three streams, which 
develop into three big rivers, viz. the Sona, the Nartnada 
and the Mahi, thus justifying the name srem. 

There also appears to be a striking phonetic similarity 
between the names *WMd% t the family name of Rayana, 

IS Location cf Lanka 

and PK&$. The inhabitants of these parts call themselves 
Ravanavanshis,* and a song on Hanuman's exploits i* 
sung with great zest by them. In that part of the Vindhya 
range in which WK<U% is situated, now called the Kaimur 
range, there are traces of old habitation of man. In it* 
caves are drawings of great antiquity. This region* 
therefore, seems to have been connected with aborigines 
and the tradition of Lanka may be traced to them. 

As regards the sea on the southern side of Vindhya* 
an interesting find may throw some light. A Sanskrit 
copperplate, found in the Rewa State, dated 823 Kalachuri 
era ( 1080 A. D. ) confers the village, ^te <Hfo together 
with ^ SEfon^. Now ^oii^r means the sea. But it may 
be taken to mean a salt mine or even saltish land. The 
marsh round the peak may be saltish. 

Luckily for discoverers there is such a place at the 
spot indicated in the Ramayana. ( Vide the Pioneer* 
Allahabad, 27 July, 1908 ) There is mystery about it, At 
a distance of some 10 miles from the Pendra Road station 
of the Bilaspur-Katni line of the Bengal- Nagpur Railway v 
there is a hill top on which is said to be a fort, called after 
Rani Bakavali, a fabulous queea It is in the Bandbavagarh 
Tehsilofthe Rewa State. It is visible from the spot 
known as *jg srmq about Smiles from the source* of 
the spfcr. It is said that in the * sixties of the last century 
Sir Richard Temple, the then Chief Commissioner of tae 
'Central Provinces, had attempted to reach it by crossing 
over the marsh, with which it is surrounded, by riding 
an elephant, but as the animal got stuck up in the 
mud the attempt had to be abandoned. From this side of 

* Imp. 0o*. Vol. XII, ft. 3*3. 
Vol. XIV, p.*?5. 

Lanka Discovered 1* 

the marsh the fort looks as if submerged in a mist, which 
makes it appear to be at a greater distance than it really 
is. It is in fact a peak, just as Lanka in the Ramayana* 
The land which is marshy at present may have had water 
over it once. Local tradition says that there is treasure- 
inside the fort. IB it the Lanka of Ravana ? 


THE earliest known history of the Indian people in an 
epic form is what is contained in the Ramayana of 
Valmiki. The language and metre of the work, which 
are nearer to the Vedic language than anything to be 
found in classical Sanskrit, point out the work to have 
been written in ancient times. Indeed the writer claims 
it to be a contemporary work, and if the interpolations 
made in it, which are many and intermixed throughout 
the book, are deleted, what remains appears to be an 
authentic narrative, subject to exaggeration here and there 
on account of its very nature as epic poetry. To the same 
reason is due the fact that ic contains many riddles. 
Many of them have been successfully solved by that 
distinguished scholar Mr, C. V. Vaidya, in the " Riddle 
of the Ramayana. " But he too failed to solve the 
toughest riddle in it, namely, the identity of 'Lanka,' the 
capital of Ravana, with any modern site. There was a 
time when it was believed that like Dvaraka of a later 
epoch', it too disappeared in the sea. But the point is so 
important that on its right solution depends the authenti- 
city of the greater part of the history narrated in the 

in Central India ft 

The story of Rama and Ska is well-known. After 
Rataa became 44 tnajor, " he was about to be installed asf 
th<* heir-apparent when he had .to go and live in the forest 
for 14 yaars. Hh younger brother Lakshinana and wife 
Sita accompanied him. His life (SPH) in the forest forms 
the central theme of the epic. As commonly found in 
iuich narratives, it id full of adventures, into which the 
lapse of time has introduced elements of romance, fancy and 
exaggeration. They have so obscured history that doubts 
have been thrown on its authenticity and some have gone 
so far as to assert that it is a myth of nature. Prof. 
JaCobi in his monumental work on the Ramayana takes 
the hero to Assam, which he calls Rakshasa-sthana ( the 
abode of demons). The Indian astronomer Bhaskar* 
(14th century A. D. ) locates Ravana's Lanka, the desti- 
nation of Rama, on the equator in 'the ocean. Some 
identify it with an island near Sumatra, or Java. A few 
would locate it in the Arabian Sea on the West Coast. 
Recently, however, some scholars are inclined to place it 
in the Chhattisgarh District of the Central Provinces. 
By far the most popular theory current in India for tfi&ny 
centuries past is that Lanka is none other than Ceylon. 
The believers in it differ as to the route by which Rama 
reached that island, one holding that he went through 
the middle of the Peninsula, while the other asserting that 
be followed the East ( Coromandel ) Coast. 

There is, however, ample material in the earliest 
narrative of it which, with the corroboration now made 
available by research, points to a place far nearer the 
country of Rama's birth than the wild stories which 
later became current Valmiki's Ramayana contains a 
plain narrative of facts. It is claimed that the site -of 
Havana's Lanka must be found in the Amarakantaka 

98 Location of Lanka 

Mountains at the source of the Narmada, on the frontier 
between the Chhattisgarh Division of the Central Pro- 
vinces and Rewa State of the Central India Agency. 

_ Ramayana of Valmiki is not only the first and 
earliest history of the great hero, Rama, but from 
the view-point of language and metre it is nearer 
to the Vedic Suktas than anything found in the 
the later Sanskrit literature, the story became so popular 
that not only the Mahabharata but almost all the 18 
Puranas and later works in modern Indian languages, 
among which Paumacariyam ( published and edited by 
Prof. Jacobi ), Tulasidasa's Ramayana in Hindi. 
Krittivasa's Ramayana in Bengali, Moropant's 108 
Ramayanas in Marathi and Kambam Ramayana in Tamil 
are the most famous, have delighted to describe the 
beautiful and almost divine story, not to speak of several 
inferior versions of the same in Sanskrit, and other works. 
Valmiki's work has not escaped interpolations to suit the 
later editions of the story. By additions and exaggerations, 
they have been rendered beyond recognition. The 
description in the Valmiki Ramayana connected with 
Rama's trek through forests and subsequently to Lanka 
precludes the possibility of its being so far away, as is 
indicated by the different places alleged to be identified 
in the history of the exploit. Other countries described^ 
ih it are equally wrongly identified with countries bearing 
the old names in modern times. As an example the 
identification of Videha, the kingdom of Janaka, the 
father of Sita, with modern Bihar, can be cited. Accord- 
ing to the Ramayana ( 1-69, 8 ) it was at a distance of 
four days' journey from Ayodhya* This cannot justify 
the identification of Videha with modern Bihar. From 
Oudh it cannot but be at a greater distance than what is 

Lanka in Ventral India f * 

indicated by the above-mentioned fact No such army *f 
is described in the Ramayana, not even a chariot drawn 
>by horses, could traverse the distance from Ayodhya 
< Oudh ) to Videha ( Bihar ) in such a short time as is 
-distinctly mentioned. 

The data in the Valmiki Ramayana are sufficient 
to identify Ayodhya, from where Rama started on his 
journey, and Chitrakuta, where he was met by his brother 
Bharata, who came to him with the tidings of 
the death of their father Dasharatha, with the places bear* 
ing these names* The difficulty of identification com* 
mences with the fujther progress in the journey. 

On leaving Chitrakuta Rama entered the Dandaka 
forest. There lie came across a colony of Rishis which was 
situated 1 in an inaccessible place ( HI-1-1 ). Then he 
entered the forest and met with an adventure ( III-2 ). 
Here he saw a hermitage ( III-5-4 ). He requested its 
owner to show him a suitable place for settling (HI-5,33), 

The Rishi was about to die and so he directed Rama to 
go to another Rishi by name Sutikshna, in the neighbour* 
hood (III-5-35). He desired him to follow the course of 
the Mandakini which having its rise in the .Chitrakuta 
joins the Yamuna, Here there was a number of 
colonists who complained to Rama of the harassment they 
yere subjected to by the fierce Rakshasas (III-6-5). They 
described to him the extent to which their colonies, which 
were subjected to the harassment, had spread (111-6-17). 

They were established on the area between the 
Pampa and the Mandakini, and the Chitrakuta mountain. 

Being accompanied by the members of the colony, be 
went to the hermitage of Sutikshna after crossing the 

94 Location of Lanka - 

tiver (Mandakini) (III-7-1). He stayed bete for one night 
( IH-8-1 ). r 

He then wandered over different places in the forest 
and returned to the same place after ten years (III-11-27X- 
Here be was requested by the Risbis to protect them 
from Raksbasas which Rama promised to do (IU-1-34 ). 

On enquiry Rama heard here that Agastya lived iir 
the same forest ( 111-11-30 et seq. ). 

He is told that the hermitage of Agastya's brother 
was 3 1 miles to the south from there and Agastya's her- 
mitage eight miles further to the south. He is advised 
that he should halt at the former place for the night 
and then proceed to the other place which was at the 
back ( or end ) of the part of the forest the next morning 

He goes to Agastya and asks to be shown a good 1 
place to live in (III-13-ll ). 

He is pointed out a place 16 miles away near the 
Godavari, a place which was said to be not far away ( III- 

It was so near in the same Madhuka forest that be 
was told that he should go by the way on the north of 
the banyan tree and, getting on a hillock close by, see the 
Panchavati (II 1-13-2 5); Janasthana was another name for 
it (III-5-69 ). It was Havana's out. post ( 111-21-20 ). $ 
* Rama settled there in order to keep his promise to ther 
Rishis ( 111-10 X 

At Panchavati Rama lived for nearly two years- 
and from here Sita was taken away by Ravana, 

This narrative makes it clear that Sutikshna's her- 
mitage was not far away from Cditrakuta, and from the 
former place Panchavati was only 48 mites. 

Lanka in Cen/ra/ Tndia * 

5 Rama had gone after the golden, deer at- the tim* 
of Sita'a kidnapping and Jatayu tried to protect Ska 
from the hands of Ravana. He was found to have bee* 
Almost killed by Ravana, when Rama returned. From 
Jatayu, Rama learnt the name of the abductor of his wife 
and the direction in which she was taken away ( 111-68* 
9, 10. and 16 ). While going on to Panchavati, Rama had 
seen a big bird perched on the banyan tree (111-14, IX 
This was Jatayu, probably an aborigine. 

Rama went along that direction towards the south* 
west in search of his wife ( III, 1-2. ). 

Having gone six miles from Janasthana ( or Pancha- 
vati ) he entered the Krauncha forest ( III-69-5 ), and on 
going six miles eastwards he entered a valley (III 69-8-10). 
between the Krauncha forest and the hermitage of 
Matanga, who, before dying, told Rama to go to Sugriva,, 
living on a hillock on the banks of a tank called Pampa 
in the forest known after Matanga. Sugriva. was the 
head of a tribe known as Vanaras, who being antagonistic 
to Rakshasas was expected to help Rama ( 111-72 ). 

Having stopped for one day on the way shown by 
Kabandha to the east of the hill ( mentioned by him ), he 
reached the western bank of Pampa (III. 74-1,3-4), 
Here was living a woman hermit named Sabari ( III. 74-4> 

Then Rama saw Sugriva, who was near the Rishya- 
uiuka mount ( III-1-130 ). 

Rama made friends with Sugriva, who gave him 
tidings of Sita carried away by Ravana by that way 

Sugriva had been driven away -from home by his 
elder brother, Vati (IV-6-9-10), who lived at Kishkindha. 
which was not at a great distance from the placet 

49 Location qf Lcrika 

< IV-12. 13 14 ). It was in a valley ( IV. 33, 1 ). From 
there Rama went to Patnpa, near which was the mount 
Riihyamuka(III-75. 7). 

It has been seen that Panchavati was only 48 miles from 
SutUcshna's hermitage, wliich itself was not * at"a great 
disHinc^frbinChitrakutJ.From Panchavati (or Janasthana) 
Rama went into the Krauncha forest at a distance of six 
miles in the south-west. Covering six more miles, he 
-entered the valley where Kabandha told Rama to go 
to Sugrtva who, it appears from the minute description 
given by Kabandha, such as the road leading by a banyan 
tree and thence to the hillock from which Pampa and 
Rishyamuka enclosing Kishkindha, the abode of Sugriva f seen, did not live far away, say another six miles* 
Therefore Kishkindha was more than eighteen miles from 
Janasthana or about 66 miles from Sutikshna's hermitage, 
pr 96 miles from Chitrakuta. 

To the immediate south of Kishkindha were the 
Vindhyas ( IV-46. 17 ). 

Sugriva sent a batch of Vanaras under the leadership 
of Hanumati to the south (IV-47,14). It began to 
search the deep valley of the Vindhyas ( IV-48-2 ). * 

They lost their way. They were taken out of it by 
.a nun who was living in it and who brought them on to 
the shores of the sea which was washing the base of the< 
Vindhyas ( IV-53, 3-5 ). 

* On the word VmdhyamGcwndaraja's commentary observe* : 
Vindhyapadapa ityanena Kishkindhaya dakMnato'pi Vindhya- 

Heve the party entered a valley, which wae full of treti 
and through which water was running and which Was full of light 

Lanka in Central India f 

Here, when they were sitting ready to die, not 
knowing what* to do, came to them the brother of Jatayu, 
by name Sampati ( IV-56, 1-2 ). He told them that he 
bad been living on the mountain Vindhya for a very 
long time ( IV-58, 7. ) 

He gives tidings of Ravana and Sita, who, be says, 
arc at a certain distance on the south banks of an island 
in the sea, on the shores of which they were sitting 
< IV-58, 20 ). 

We find an indication of distance in the fact that 
lie could see them, or rather the place where they lived 
from the spot on which they were ( IV. 58-29 ). It if 
emphasised in the same stanza that he could see what be 
was describing. 

It was on this information that Hanuman, the leader 
of the party, made up his mind to leap or swim the dis- 
tance. Hanuman swam this distance, through the air. 
after halting in the way. 

It is then quite clear that Kishkindha was on the nor- 
thern slope of the Vindbyas which was at a distance of 
about 96miles from Chitrakuta, and Lanka to the south of 
the mountain in the sea. From the fact thatSabari, living 
on the bank of the Pampa near Kishkindha ( UL 74,4 ), 
can ( as will be shown later ) be said to be residing within 
dbc miles of Amarakantaka, ( to be identified with Lanka ) 
it was about 103 miles from Chitrakuta, 

Here arises the toughest problem. Mr. C. V. Vaidya 
the learned author of the " Riddle of the Ramayana ** 
and " Mahabharata : A Criticism, '' shows that even the 
Mahabharata, which is next in authority to Valmiki's 
Ramayana, corroborates that Kishkindha was to the north 
of the Vindhya mountain. The difficulty about there be- 

88 Location cf Lanka 

ing no sea to the south of the Vindhyas can only be got 
over by agreeing to the view that what is described as sea 
here was an expanse of water. 

Sutikshna's Asrama, which Rama first visited after 
leaving Chitrakuta, is modern Sutna, a station on the E.L 
Railway, the present head-quarters of the Political Agent 
in Bhagelkhand, about 30 miles from Chitrakuta, as the. 
crow flies, It is situated on a stream which has, evens 
now, beautiful trees on its banks. Here Rama lived foe 
the ten years of his exile. 

Rai Bahadur Hiralal, the distinguished archaeologist, 
is responsible for the statement that Goda, which is the 
name given to the river at Panchavati, where Rama lived 
for nearly two years and from where Sita was kidnapped,, 
is a common name for rivers in that part of the country. 
So it does not necessarily mean that Janasthana is to be 
located on the well-known river Godavari, which rise* 
in the Western Ghats to fall into the Bay of Bengal 

From Janasthana Rama went to the Krauncha forest. 
Hereabout is Kenjuva, an offshoot of the Vindhyas. It 
may be identified with Krauncha. 

In Sabari dialect* Jaitan means a place below the 
mountains just as Lanka means a high fountain. It is 
not difficult to hold that Janasthana, which was inr 
forest, was with no habitation, as otherwise its meaning 
might imply the Sanskrit form of Jaitan. It was the 
advance post of Ravana's army ( 111-20, -22 ). Mr- 
Ramdas maintains that in Sabari dialect Dandaka 
means a place full of water. 

* Aboriginal Names in th* Ramayana by G. Ramdaf Iyer, B. A 
Journal of the Behar and Ocissa Research Society , March, 19*5 

Lanka in Central India 86 

L4nka itself was on the top of a peak 
known as Trikuta (V-l-2). It is to be identified 
with a peak on Amarakantaka. According to Rai 
Bahadur Hiralal, there is a peak called Amrakuta 
( a place with mango trees ) on the Amara- 
kantaka. It would not be difficult to identify the 
other two peaks as Salakuta ( Sal trees ) and Madhukuta 
( Mahua trees ). Within seven miles of Amarakantaka, 
there is a place Sabari Narayana, called after the hermit 
of that name mentioned in the Ra may ana ( III-4, 45 ). 
When Rama was on his way to and near Pampa or Kish- 
lindha he met Sabari Narayana, 

A striking phonetic similarity is to be seen between 
the names Salakatankata, the family name of Ravana and 
.Amarakantaka. The inhabitants of these parts call 
themselves Ravana-vamsis* and a song on Hanuman's 
exploits w sung with great zest by them. That part of 
the Vindhya range in which the Amarakantaka lies, is 
-called the Kaimur range. There are traces of old habita- 
tions of men. In its caves are drawings of great anti- 
quity. * Tbis region, therefore, seems to have been con- 
nected with aborigines, and the tradition of Lanka may 
'be traced to them. 

There now remains the difficulty about the sea. In 
Sanskrit, according to Mr. Nundolal Dey, the word 
Sagara includes a lake, a sea or an ocean. In these parts 
there are many lakes which are called Sigaras. Rai 
Bahadur Hiralal asserts that in some of these lakes pearls 
are found ( Journal of Hindi Sammelan, Vol. 14 f 5 ). 

Now the question remains as regards the tribes of 
Vanaras, monkeys, which inhabited the land between 

*. Imperial Gazrttw, Vol. XII, p. 323. 

|. Ibid* Vol; XVL p. *75. I. H. Q., December, 1928, 

SO Location of Lanka 

Janasthanajnd Lanka.and the Rakshasai who lived beyond^ 
That these two tribes had brotherly relations may be 
gathered from the mention in the Ramayana that Hanuman 
the companion of Sugriva, introduced his name toRavana* 
as that of a brother ( V-2,51 ), It is said that Vanara* 
had a tail. Apart from the fact that in medical works 
evidence is available of men having tail, Mr. T. C. Hudson, 
in his " Naga Tribes of Manipur " describes a costume In 
which such a tail is added. The Rakshasas too had different 
sorts of costumes ( e. g., the ten heads of Ravana ). I 
have avoided any reference to the last canto of the Rama- 
yana as it is held to be an interpolation. Nor has any 
reference been made to the date of the Ramayanic events,, 
which preceded the Mahabharata War by about a 
thousand years. 


IN a paper read before the XVII International Congress 
of Orientalists, Oxford, I gave mileage of the distance 
between Chitrakuta and Kishkindha as 98. 

Thus four Yojanas as stated in ( 111-11-38-39 ), were 
interlocated by me as 32 miles, and three Krosas 
( in III-5-69. ) as 6 miles. I did so in other places too. 

The above mileage can be tested from the distance 
between two known places viz., theGanga at its junction 
with Yamuna at Allahabad and the Chitrakuta situated in 
Banda District of the United Provinces in the north-west 
or west of Allahabad. 

In Ayodhyakanda ( 11-54,28-29 ) Bharadvaja whose 
hermitage was on the confluence of the Ganga and 
Yamuna informs Rama that 10 krosas from there was 
situated the mountain Chitrakuta where they should stay. 

99 Location of Lanka 

In the next Sarga, ( Verses 4 to 6 ) he gives further 
directions for reaching the place. He says that from the 
junction of the two rivers, the Ganga and Yamuna, Rama 
should follow the latter upwards from its mouth and hav- 
ing reached an old landing place, he should cross in a 
boat to reach a big Nyagrodha tree, with big leafy 
branches. After proceeding a Krosa further, he would 
see a blue forest. Thus: 

Bharadvaja also adds ( in Verse 9 ) that he has often 
traversed over this road to Chitrakuta. Thus: 

Accordingly, Rama took a boat and having put Sita 
on it first, crossed the river ( Verses 18 and 19 ). 


Having done so, they went a distance of one 
wandered in the forest of Yamuna, evidently this being 
. *he same place which is mentioned in Verse 8 ( sup a ) 
and Verse 33. Thus: 

Further Light on Ravana't Lmtca 99 

" .Later, when Bbarata came with his army to the 
termitagc of Bharadvaja and asked Rama's whereabouts; 
the sage said that three and half Yojanas away, was the 
Chitrakuta mountain where Rama was staying. AsBharata 
was accompanied by a big retinue Bharadvaja pointed put 
to him another route but the distances though mentioned 
in different units viz., Krosas and Yojanas* 10 Krosas 
( i e. 20 miles ), are almost equal to 3 Yojanas ( i. e, 
about 9 Krosas ), having regard to perhaps different places 
for crossing the river ( Yamuna ) as the route is to the 
South or South-West ( 92-10-13 fie 14 ). Thus:-. 

H \\ It 

\ ......... n 

Having followed this direction Bharata came to the 
vicinity of Chitrakuta and told his chief adviser that the 
place as pointed out by Bharadvaja had been reached 
< 93-6-8). Thus: 

n ^ n 

The description of the bluish forest lias reference^ to 
what was stated in Sarga 55, Sloka 8 supra. The 
shortest distance between the bank of the Yamuna ami 
* *'' 

94 Location of Lanka 

Cbitrakuta is between 20 to 30 miles, although it Is 8tf 
miles to-day by rail from the junction of the two rivers, 

* * * * 

In the 32nd Sarga of Aronyakanda (III) it is stated 
that when Shurpanakha saw that Rama had killed 
Trishiras. Khara and Dushana with their army she was 
filled with grief and proceeded to Lanka protected by 
Ravana, from Dandakaranya, ( Verse 3 ), Thus : 

II 3 II 

Then Ravana went to the stables, asked his chario- 
teer to yoke the mules who did it in a moment and in his 
golden chariot came to the ocean. (35-4-7). Thus : 

rfrft frfF JT^Sff tf^WrftW I 


He then crossed the &ea and in a lovely and beautiful 
place in the forest saw Maricha ( 32- 37-38 ): 

II ^6 II 

Ravana induced Maricha to accompany him on his- 
chariot to the place where Rama was staying to decoy 
Sita (42-7-11). 

Further Light on Havana 8 Lanka 36 

II \ \\ 

cfcT* I 

. n U 11 

It is particularly stated in Verse 9 that from their 
hermitage ( that of Mancha ) they J came soon to the 
place where Rama had built his cottage. 

It appears that while Ravana came to the place in a 
chariot, which was later destroyed by Jatayu, when the 
former was taking Sita away, on his way back he had the 
use of a sort of a glider ( 67-17 & 20 ), 


In Kishkindhakanda ( IV-6-9-11 ) Sugriva says that 
he saw Sita being dragged by Ravana, and on seeing him 
and his followers, she threw down on the peak her cover- 
ing garment and some ornaments. It is however not clear 
from this nor from a similar description of the manner of 
her being taken away by Sampati in ( 58-15 ) whether she 
was being dragged on earth or in the air. 

SET WN RW?OM 11 ^ u 

II \\ \\ 

SET *R<fa Stfcfl'TT II tM II 
It will be evident from the description that neither in 
the approach of Ravana with Maricha to Janasthana 
where Rama was staying, nor on his return to his palace 
with Sita, is there any mention of the formidable obstruc- 
tion of the ocean. On the contrary, he teems to have 

36 Location of Lanka 

ctoised easily whatever watery surface was there. It 
clearly appears that he had to use two chariots, one to 
the sea from Lanka and other from the hermitage of 
Maricha which was nearer to the sea. ( 111-35-37 & 10 )* 

cf cj 

Those who maintain that the sea or the ocean which 
surrounded the island of Lanka was in the South of India, 
base their argument on the mention of Sahya, Malaya and 
Mahendra, which are well known mountains at the 
extreme end of the Southern peninsula of India. ( VI-4, 
73-74 95-97 ) 

But apart from the fact that this lengthy Sarga 
* appears to be a later interpolation, there is evidence to 
show that the Malaya and Mahendra were the names of 
forts or peak? near Kishkindba, , 

In ( 111-72-13 ) it is stated that Sugriva bad to live 
on the mountain Rishyamuka which spread up to Pampa, 
which was a lake ( III-73-11 ) 


, <!?R 

Further Light on fiavana's Lanka 87 

In (IV-2) is stated that seeing Rama in the 
neighbourhood of Rishyamuka ( IV-1-129 ) Sugdva and 
his followers became terrified ( IV-2-1 ) fearing that Vali 
had sent them ( Verse 13 ). Hanuman assured them that 
the plac where they were standing i. e. the hill named 
Malaya, on which was situated Rishyamuka, was beyond 
the pale of Vali (Verses 14). 


That the place mentioned above was in the neigh- 
bourhood of Rishyamuka is seen from (IV. 3-1, 2 & 21-23) 

II ? H 


Hanuman next went to Rishyamuka itself which was 
the abode of Sugriva (111-72-12), to Malayagiri from 
where they had seen Rama and his brother wandering 
near Rishyamuka ( IV-5-1 ) 

*trr<$ cR[r ^ f^FfW iwff II t ' 

Vali, the opponent of Sugriva, lived at Kisbkindb* 
IV r ll-21). 

Location qf Lanka 

This place was at a distance of one Yojana ( 4 milts) 
from the hermitage of Matanga (IV-11-46-48 ) 

This hermitage of Matanga was at a distance of 
12 miles from Janasthana, from which place Sita was 
kidnapped (III-69-5, 8). 


From Rishyamuka Sugriva was asked to proceed 
immediately to Kishkindha ( 111-12-12-14 ), 

ft(Qb^ f^W THJ cWJIrT: I ... II \\ II 
c^Rcf 1c?rr fefax^ ^T^ft 'ffR I ... II I VII 

Sugriva was hotly pursued by Vali upto Malaya 
,22 and 23 ). 


by Lakshmana and Sugriva went 
ishyamuka. In the way they came 
named Sapta Janasthana. From 

Further Light on Rat\t*a'* Lanka 99 

tare they saw KijWcindha ( III-13-1, 13 and 29 and 

H \ 

^f ^ officf JTc^I (%|Qj^|f qil5siRini< I ... tt t B 

All this description shows that there was not much 
distance between Rishyamuka and Kish kind ha, which was 
in a valley ( IU-25-7 III-27-1 ) 

fit PlRjj^l t,*^Mft^^g(*lci}S^f I ... ^ H 
This is further clarified in ( 111-31-16 ) 

H W ir 

and Rama with Lakshmana went to live on Prasravana 
bill ( m-27-1 ) 

In its neighbourhood were two peaks one in the North 
and the other in the South ( named Kailasa ); on the 
East a river was flowing by another peak, known as 
Trikuta ( 111-27-14-16; 26-27 )- 

40 Location of Lanka 

Besides Kishkindha, there were other forts on the 
mountain ( 111-19-14-15 ). 

During Rama's stay on Malyavat a peak of Prasravan* 


n IV. 2-14 Malyavan is called Malaya. 

That this Prasravana, otherwise known as Malaya^ 
was in sight of Vindbya at the foot of which wa* 
41 the sea, " which separated Lanka from the Vindhy* 
range in a valley of which was Kishkindha is borne out 

Further Light on Ravarta's Lanka 

: 11 \\ \\ 

... \\\\\ 

u U II ^ II 

So when Hanuman, who was among the above army 
made his mind to cross " the ocean," he was afraid that 
the ground on which be stood, being soft might not stand 
the " kick '' of his leap ( IV-67-37 ). 


He therefore thought that the peaks of Mahendra 
firm enough to bear his weight and ascended one of 
them ( IV-67-38 & 41 ). 

Jf ?rfnf ^ I 

That the Mahendra was a peak of the Vindhya it- 
shown by the narrative in IV-63-14 & IV-64-1-2, accord- 
ing to which Sampati, from a peak of the Vindhya flew* 
with Hanuman and others to the banks of " the sea" : 

i .. 
* II 

4Bt * Location of Lanka 

On bis return from Lanka Hanuman and others first 
ascended the peak of Mahendra and later left it to reach 
;the place where Rama was. ( V-60-13 V-61-2 ). 

Rama too had reached this place (VI-4, 95-% ). 


He went to Mahendra from Prasravana where Hanu- 
.man had reported his success to him ( V-65-1) : 

f^R^TT W S^ROT ^T ^N<*H II I II 

But in this rather lengthy chapter 4 of Yuddhakanda 
in which Rama's journey to " the sea " and his ascent of 
Mahendra is described, there appear to have crept in 
some interpolations; such as in Verses 73, 74, 97 and 98, 
the meaning of which is also obscure. Verses 73 and 74 
say that Rama reached the Sahya and Malaya Mountains, 
and a river full of water by name Prasravana : 

v n 

If the latter interpretation is correct, then the river 
might have been named after the mountain on which 
Rama lived near Kishkindha, as it might have had its 
source there. Then Sahya and Malaya appear to be 
: synonyms while Malaya as seen above was another name 
for Prasravana. 

Further Light on Ramna's Lanka 4f 

But Verses 96 to 100 are not clear. They appear to 
mean that Rama ascended Mahendra ; he saw " the sea " 
at a distance; in between were Sahya and Malaya. 
Having ascended the peak, he crossed a beautiful forest 
reaching upto " the sea coast " and said to Sugriva that 
they had reached " the sea" : 

...... n 

II \ II 

ftg^f ^m\ s^jmf^ i 
\\ \ o o 

But the above does not mean that Rama crossed the 
mountain ranges named Sahya and Malaya. 

Reference has been made to the existence of a 
mountain known as Trikuta with a river flowing by to 
the East of the cave in which Rama had taken his abode. 
{IV-27-16, 4). 

irai4 w. ^iW^ir *f n n 

Trikuta, which was observed to the East of Malaya, 
{or Prasravana ) with a river between, was in the vicinity 
of Lanka ( VII-11-22, 24, and 49; VII-2 and 3 ). 

'44 Location of Lanka 

5f*!tf 35ft ............ mil 

That the distance between the north bank and the 
south bank of r * the sea " dividing the continent from the 
island of Lanka was not great is evident (VI-17-1, 9 &10 

Bibhishana, disregarded by his brother, Ravana, came 
to tfhe northern coast of the sea, when Rama had reached 
the southern coast. There he stood on a high ground 
( " m*& " and && v& I^OT) and spoke loudly ( 


II ^ || 

At his instance was built the Setu for crossing the 
sea ( IV-19-32,33-39,40 ). 

H v< H 

Further Light on Ravana'a Lanka 

I) ^ || 

11 Vo H 

The above shows that the distance between the two 
^coasts although difficult to be crossed by an army without 
a bridge, loud conversation between the two could be 
heard. Moreover, a small party could cross it as Bibbi- 
<hana did ( IV-19-2--3 ). 

When visiting Maricha Ravana too had crossed it. 
( 111-35-77 ). 

II ty II 

Moreover, the bed of the river ( exaggerated by 
poetic imagination into a sea ) was mainly without mud. 
< IV-27-16 ). 


In my paper on ' Havana's Lanka discovered f read 
"before the XVII International Congress of Orientalists, I 
had located Lanka in the Vindhya Mountain on the 
description of the route of Rama to Lanka, as given in 
Valmiki's Ramayana. In the present paper I locate it at 
the same place on the basis of Ravana's route to Panchavati 
and his subsequent movements. 

It is noteworthy that in the Ayodhyakanda, Valmiki 
gives the distance between Ayodhya and Cbitrakuta, both 
in Krosas and Yojanas, and it tallies exactly with the 

46 Location of Lanka 

present location of these two places. It is also noteworthy 
that against the popular belief that Valmiki lays stress on 
the vicinity of Malaya and Sahya to the north bank of 
the sea which divides Lanka from India, these, as a matter 
of fact, are only mentioned once in a long Adhyaya in 
Sundarakanda, which there is reason to suppose, contains 
many interpolations. On the other band, Malaya is the 
name of a fort on a peak of the Vindhya Mountain near 
Kisbkindha. As a matter of fact, Valmiki in many places 
insists on the vicinity of Vmdhya ;to Lanka. All these 
facts and the fact that Ravana easily came to Panchavati 
and Bibhishana spoke to the followers of Rama from the 
other side of the sea, dividing India and Lanka, lead to 
the same conclusion as I have arrived in my previous 

The Edition of Valmiki Ramayaua used for the purpose 

of thii article " Brimad Valmiki Ramayana " published by 

B. Narayanaswami Aiyar, M. A,, B. L. Advocate, with the help 

of an editorial committee, printed at the Madras Law Journal 
Press, Mylapore, Madras, 1933. 


IN a paper read before the XVII International Congress of 
Orientalists held at Oxford in 1927 ( referred to in its 
report as published in the Indian Historical Quarterly \ 
Calcutta, Vol. IV No. 4, December 1928-) and in another 
one read before the XIX Session of the same Congress 
held at Rome ( published in Atti Del XIX Congress 
Intemazianale degli Orientalist^ Roma 23-29, Sellimbrc 
1938 XIII, pp. 361-375 ) I gave evidence from Valmiki's 
Ramayana that Ravana's Lanka was not located at or 
beyond the southern end of India, but was situated on a 
peak in Central India. The late Prof. H. Jacobi wrote 
to me to say that it was more plausible than his theory 
according to which he located it in Assam. I shall now 
Describe the inhabitants residing in this territory. 

In the plateau adjoining the peak in the Amarkaiw 
taka on which Lanka was situated, there resides a tribe 
known as Gonds, Gous or Guds. There are ( 1 ) Havana 
( 2 ) Wanara ( 3 ) Raghu and ( 4 ) Komar ( Kuvar, sons 
of the above vamshis ). Not only are the names signi- 
ficant but the last tribe seems to present those who are 

48 Location of Lanka 

the descendants of the soldiers of Rama and Ravana. 
There is a difference between the culture and customs of 
these tribes. All of them have now become agricul- 

They have however, retained some old customs* 
Among their gods is a heroic figure riding a horse. It 
tallies with the description of a general of Ravana given 
in Ramayana ( VI. 59-18 ). It runs thus ; 

He rode a horse glittering with gold like the sun. 

In the map appended to this, are mentioned places 
according to the directions given in the Valmiki Rama- 
yana> irrespective of the fact whether those places are to 
be traced as the sites at present as marked therein or not* 
Lately, a remarkable confirmation has been found of the 
identification of the site of Sutikshna Ashrama. Such a 
place really exists at present and is now lying in the Panna 
State territory. If proper geographical search is made it 
may lead to the identification of other places too. Even 
now a visit to these parts gives reality to the description 
in the Ramayana. 

The late Rai Bahadur Dr. Hiralal of Katni drew my 
attention to the following extract from " J^aga Tribes of 
Manipur " by Mr. T. C. Hudson. He describes the 
costume of a Naga warrior thus: " The cane helmet 
which is. sometimes covered with tiger or leopard skin 
bears a brass disc in front and then crescents of buffalo 
horn, topped with red hair, are fastened to it in front. 
This looks like a pair of horns which it may be intended 
to imitate. The most curious ornament on these occas- 
ions is the candal appendage with its curve upwards 

la this indeed a tail ?" 

Inhabitants Around Lanka in Amarkantaka 49 

At any rate the above description tallies with the 
appearance of Hanuman and others as described in the 
Ramayana, as far as ' the tail ' is concerned, and therefore, 
I am of the opinion that the ten heads or mouths of 
Ravana, as well as the tails of so-called monkeys in Rama's 
army were ornaments and not natural growth. Tales of 
the tails of human beings however have been authenticated 
in " La Pate Glycertne-Kao-hne " by Dr. H. Galmier of 
the Faculty of Medicine. Two photographs of men hav- 
ing such tails have been published. I append them here- 

In support of my theory that Lanka was located on a 
peak of the the Amarkantaka in Central India, I have 
been entirely relying on Valmiki's Ramayana, but as a 
perusal of journals of learned societies will show, evidence 
in support of it is being discovered from Puranas also. 


( The Ruler of Lanka ) 

I HAVE already shown that the struggle between 
Ramachandra, the Hero of Valnaikt's Ramayana, and 
the villain Ravana, took place on the plateau, north of 
Lanka, perched on a peak of the Atnarkantaka. This 
plateau is situated in the midern State of Re wa. It is now 
known as the forest of Pushparajgarh. This vast tract is in- 
habited by the Gonds Among them are still observed 
several customs, ( such as cannibalism mentioned in 
Valmiki's Ramayana;) as those of the relations and follow- 
ers of Ravana ; he seems to have been civilized, although 
he too was not free from all the traditions prevalent among 
his tribe or tribes.* 

*. Annals ( B. O. R. I. ) Poona, Vol. VII, Park IV. 


Descendants of Havana 61 

Several tribes of Gonds who inhabit this tract call 
themselves (1) Ravana Vamsi ( descendants of Ravana ), 
(2) Banar Vamsi (descendants of monkeys), Komar Vamsi 
( descendants of the Kumars, sons of Rajas ) and even 
Raghu Vamsi ( descendants of Ramachandra, evidently 
of his followers ). They are divided amongst these four 
principal sections. Although the family of Ravana 
is called after its progenitor as Salakatankata* he is said 
to be born of the family of Pulastya Rishi. Amongst the 
Gonds there are 23 Gotras\- ( 1 ) Agoria, ( 2 ) Biyar, ( 3 > 
Dharkar, ( 4 ) Dusadh, ( 5 ) Ghasiya, ( 6 ) Kamar, ( 7 ) 
Kamarai, ( 8 ) Koir, (9) Manaro. (10) -Mazi, (11) Moi, (12) 
Paliha, (13) Panika, (14) Pathari, (15) Pava, (16) Paviya, 
( 17 ) Raithor, ( 18 ) Rajagagon, ( 19 ) Sadharan Gon, * 
( 20 ) Tavalmanjan, ( 22 ) Umrao, ( 24 ) Vaiga, ( 23) Vmd. 

Some of the original names have undergone some 
verbal change. Besides these gotras, there are Kulas 
(families) which are known after the name of the deity 
they worship and which are to be found among all the 
tribes of Gonds. They are 20. The similarity between 
the name of the Gond and Gaud who are Brahmins, is 
remarkable and it may be responsible for the idea that 
Ravana was a Brahmin. The twenty families are named 
as : 

( 1 ) Betam, ( 2 ) Chichma, ( 3 ) Ghurava, (4) Khashars^ 
(5) Korim, (6)Mapachi (7)Marai, (8)Markam fc 


Also known as Zamidari. 

t>2 Location of Lanka 

( 9 ) Maravi, (10) Notia, ( 11 ) Oika, ( 12 ) Oima, ( 13 ) Par- 
neha, ( 14 ) Partholi, ( 15 ) Partthi, ( 16 ) Poya, (17) Sapatia, 
'< 18 ) Soima, ( 19 ) Suri, ( 20 ) Tckama. 

Every one of these families has a different head-quar- 
ter town. 

Thus : 

Nigari, Nivas for Markam; 

Mo h or a, Jhara, Mersenda and Gadai Gao for 


Ganari for Khashars ; 
Nandhi, Tunguna for Suri, 
Juri, Serangagadh for Tekama, 
Gadh. Mohda for Marai ; 
Lohajhar, Dhanvahi for Betam ; 
Songadh for Mapachi ; 
Duari, Changohar for Soima ; 
Manaura for Maravi ; 
Gharhar for Ghurava ; 
Chunaguna, Chupaundhi for Oika ; 
Pondakai for Chichama ; 
Munda for Poya. 
All the villages are situated in Rewa state. . 

Among some of these Gonds, a child is named after 
the sixth day of its birth and the name of a visitor to the 
habitation on that day is given to the child. Amongst 
others, naming ceremony takes place after five months of 
the child's birth. Their marriage custom is of the kind 
described in Hindu Shastras as the Rakshasa form of marri- 
age i.e. the bride is carried away from her parents, and 
then the religious, or the customary ceremony is perfor- 

Descendant of Ravana 6& 

med. Divorce is allowed and remarriage permitted. Men 
and women stand in two rows opposite to, or facing each 
other, and then they take a forward step and a backward 
one. In this process a woman touching the forefinger of 
the left foot of a man becomes his kept wife. In this 
manner a woman has simultaneously 15 or 16 lawfully 
wedded husbands or the man has as many wives. Ravana 
abducted many wives.* 

The Gonds worship 41 deities which are located 
under a tree outside the habitation. Most of their images 
are of horse riders. The gods and goddesses which are 
indistinguishable from each other bear names, some of 
which are sylvan such as (1) Bodaka Deva (of Banyan tree) 
(2) Ningi Deva, (3) Ghamsam Dcva (thick as) (1) Mahisha- 
*ura, (2) Mari, (3) Sarada, (4) Kalika and so on. To all 
of them, animals, including in some cases human beings 
( a custom which is now reported to be stopped )' are 
sacrificed and then the worshippers eat this flesh. They 
also offer liquor to the deities before drinking it. The 
Ninga Deva especially is offered human sacrifice by the 
Gonds known as Dhura. In the Valmihi Ramayana too 
this is the way in which Ravana propitiated the deities 
and Kumbhakarna required tons of flesh to eat. 


( V 

64 Location of Lanka 

Some of the Gonds observe untouchabiltty probably 
imitating the surrounding Hindus. 

Their icng*, which are known as (1) Saika, (2) Kamra, 
(3) Sura, (4) Binaha and so on according to their tunes 
or metres, contain references to their customs etc. and to 
some Hindu heroes like Krishna. The latter are evidently 
modern, but in a few of the songs there is mention that 
Hanuman lived in Lanka, which he invaded with an army 
consisting of monkeys. These according to their tunes, 
or metres, are sung on different occasions. For instance* 
a particular kind, say, Binaha, is sung on marriage occasion 
and another on a different occasion, such as worship. 

Similarity between this culture and that described in 
the Ramayana appears to be more than accidental * 

*. I am indebted to my friend Bai Bahadur Brojendranath 
Chaturvrdi Politioal and Finance Minister of Reva for collecting 
the information regarding Gonds, given in this article, for me. 


CO MUCH legend, owing to the many versions, not only 
in Sanskrit, but in several other Indian languages* 
has gathered round the story first told with so much 
beauty of language and even poetic fervour, in Valmiki's 
Ramayana, that many scholars doubt if there is any real 
history in it. Much more is this doubt regarding the 
Uttara Kanda, which, or parts of which, are held to be 
interpolations There is real ancient history in this work 
not available in any other source, but even this Kanda 
contains facts which are being corroborated by actualities 
and archaeological excavations. 

* The Uttara Kanda is a necessary part of the Rama- 
yana. It contains the story of Ravana, -the villain of the 
epic. Similarly had the work b?en a mere lyrical com- 
position, it would not have contained the tragic end 
which this Kanda describes. By relegating it to this 
Jtanda, the rules of poetic have also been honoured. 
It is the dislike of the Indians to tragedy that makes them 
ieel shy of this Kanda. 

66 Location of Lanka 

Shri Brabmachari Shri Bhagawatacharya of Baroda 
in his article in Vol. 17 No. 4 of the Quarterly Journal of 
the Nagari Pracharini Sabha ( Benares. ) has asserted that 
Rama sent Sita to the forest because of the scandals- 
heard from a washerman. But this statement, which is 
perhaps based on versions ;in other languages, has no 
support in the Valmiki Ramayana. [In it verse 13 Sarga. 
43 is as follows : 

It clearly means 'that the scandal was current ii* 
public places in the city. This L finds amplification ia 


which means that it had spread to the country-side- 
also. It shows that as the whole populace had beea 
finding fault with him he had no alternative, but to 
give up Sita although he had no evidence of her 

Moreover there are descriptions in this Kanda,, 
which by their very naturalness prove their 
authenticity. One such is about the manner of the passing 
away of Lakshmana. In V-15, 106, it is described thus :-* 

It means that sitting on the banks of the Sarayu 
Lakshmana stopped his breath and died. Shocked by this 
sudden death, Rama asked all the residents of Ayodhya,. 
to leave the capital, or figuratively render it uninhabited,. 

la the Uttara Kanda Un-historicall 


by his impending departure, he proceeded in fact to the 
banks of the river. Thus verses 5 and 6, Sarga 108 and 
verse 7, Sarga 110 contain the following : 

Thus he died drowning himself in the waters of the 
river. Had this narration not been supported by facts, it 
would never have been given in the case of a hero, who 
is also worshipped as a deity. 

In Sarga 46 of this Kanda relative distances between 
Ayodhya, Valmiki's abode and Mathura are described and 
they tally with the actualities. When Rama asked 
Lakshmana to take Sita to the forest he reached with her 
in his chariot at one day's distance on the banks of the 
Gomati. ( Verse 12, Sarga 46 ). 


The next morning, he told the charioteer to take it 
swiftly to the Ganges. (Verse 19-20. Sarga 46 ). 

They reached the bank after half a day's journey 
(Verse 23-24, Sarga 46). 

These distances are in accordance with realities. 

ff L&xttian of Lanka 

In another place in this Kartda the vety sane tome fr 
Ascribed m connection with a different foetdttt tud 
there also it is found to be true. 

Once Brahmin* residing on the banks of the Yamuna 
< modern Jumna ) Went to Rama asking him to redress 
their grievance. ( Verse 3 and 15, Sarga 60 ). 


The reception granted to them by Rama is so natural 
that it appears to be truthful, but the promise made by 
him to redress even before he had heard the grievance 
surprised the redress-mongers and made them suspicious 
about the successful carrying out of the assurance. 
< Verse 17, S.60). 


They however satisfied themselves on the two 
grounds, viz,, (1 ) the promise was made to Brahmins, 
and (2) they had heard of Rama's valour in killing 
Ravana. ( Verse 18, S. 60 and V 24, S. 60. ) 

^ Their grievance was that there was ruling in Mathura 
a tyrant by name Lavana (Sarga 61). At Rama's bidding, 
Shatrughna invaded Mathura and killed Lavana 
<V-5, 57-10) 

When Rama left Ayodfaya; he took two days to reach 
Valmiki's abode cm the Ganges. ( Verse 2, Sarga 65, ) 

Is the Uttara Kanda Un-Kstarical ? 

It is true that instead of an interval of a day and half 
as in the case of Lakshmana, Rama took two days to reach 
the Ganges but, Shatrughna was accompanied by a big 
army. ( Verse 2, S-trg i 64 ). 


The abode ot Vaimtki u-is on the Ganges, a little 
north of Allahabad. From there he turned west and 
took seven days in reaching the Yamuna, opposite 
Mathura ( Verse 15, Sarga 66. ) 


But the mos- surprising c ^nfirmation of the facts 
mentioned in this Kanda is aff >rded by the evidence fur- 
nished by the excavati jns at Mohenjo Daro f Chanhu Daro 
and Harappa. It is now asserted traces of an ancient 
civilization, buried v\ tres^ places weie probably of 
Dravidian origin. The reference in the Ramayana shows 
it to be contemporary with the events described in ir f 
which on some grounds cannot be said to be later than 3 
^or 4 thousand year* before Ctinst and that is the period 
calculated for the find> in the excavations. 

Bharata f s maternal uncle, the Kin^ of the Kaikayas 
-a country adjacent to these places, sent word that u this 
beautiful country of Gandhara, full of vegetables and fruits 
lies on both the banks of the Indus. It is governed by 
numerous people well-armed and proficient in warfare, 
the subjects of King Shailusha ( Verses 10-12, Sarga 100 ) 

60 Location of Lanka 

gen 3k fs^fesft I H$H<sr: ti 

The maternal uncle, Yudhajit, requested Rama 
through Bharata to conquer the country. ( Verse 
Sarga 100 ). 

The reason for approaching Rama was that without 
his aid it could not be sub JueJ. ( Verse 13, Sarga 100 ). 


Rama entrusted the task to Bharata himself, who 
assisted by his maternal uncle, speedily invaded the 
country with armies and followers ( Verse 2-3, Sarga 101 ) 


The inhabitants of the invaded country were destroyed 
by natural curses such as storms and tantacles of fate 
( probably earthquake ). ( Verse 8, Sarga 101. ) 

1. Indian Historical Quarterly, Calcutta, Vol. IV. flo 4, Deocm* 
ber 1928. 

& uli Dr/ XIX Congresso Internationale dtgli Orient aliete 
Roma 23-29 Sellimbre 1938 XIII pp. 361-375 {and Annals of B. 0. 
it. I., Poona, Vol. XVII, 1935-36, pp. 371-384. 

la the V tiara Kanda Un-historical ? 6 1 

This certainly describes the burial of the ancient civi- 
lization which is now explored and exposed by excavations, 

In Sarga 38 of this Kanda it is described that when 
Bharata, who was camping at some distance from 
Ayodhya, the capital, heard of the kidnaping of Sita he 
appealed to the neighbouring rulers for help. ( Verse 25 ) 


Until Rama returned to the capital they were there 
at Ayodhya when they were dispersed. ( Verse 21 ) 

The invited kings were so disappointed that they 
felt that Bharata had invited them for nothing. ( Verse 4, 
Sarga 39. ) 

The procedure which Bharata adopted clearly shows 
that Lanka was not so far away as the southern-most 
point of India. 

Another proof of the distance of Lanka from 
Ayodhya, or Chitrakuta, where Rama stayed before 
entering the Dandaka forest, is afforded by the following 
evidence. The period between the abduction of Sita 
and the conquest of Lanka, is only two years, and not 
14 years as is the popular belief. He was exiled for 
14 years. ( II.-18-35 ) 

He resided at the hermitage of Sutikshna for 10 years 
< 3-11-28 ). 

6$ Location of Lanka 

From here Rama went to Panchavati and stayed 
there for sometime. Here was the boundary of Ravana'* 
kingdom, guarded by Kh.ira, Dushana and other warriors 
( 111-16-31 ) and also ( III. 18 ) 

When Sita wa? taken to Lanka and confined there, 
she was given a recess of ore year at the expiry of which 
Ravana threatened to forcibly woo hor ( III. 749. 24-25). 
In this interval Rama rescued her; so between her 
abduction and her rescue nearly a year passed. 

In verses 27-29, Sarga 40 of the Uttara Kanda, des- 
cription is given ot how Sugnva and Bibhiahana were 
asked to leave and return to their kingdoms after a stay of 
a month or two. ( Verses 27 and 29, Sarga 39). 

3 sriTO35r: 
^ 3P^R W 
t f^weit m 

and they all went to their homes, ( V-29, Sarga 40). 

This- also shoe's Aat their home were not so far 
away as is popularly believed. 

3. A Vol. of Eastern and Indian Studiei in honour of F. W. 
Thomat, 0. 1. E.. pp. 144-145. 

1 A presentation Volume to Prof. P. V. Kane, H. A, LL. U*